Internship Program Offers Students Work Experience

West Haven High School now offers Life Skills and Internship classes in which students receive work opportunities based on their own interests.

The class is led by special education teacher Carissa Anastasio, who works with students to tailor their work opportunities to their own interests.

Students in the Internship/Life Skills class can get work experience in an area that interests them.

For example, one student, senior Devon Nichols, is very passionate about meteorology and even would like to pursue a career in the field. He partnered with our school’s daily morning news show to have his own weather segment, called Westie Weekend Weather. Every Friday he can be seen on the news telling everyone what the weather will look like over the weekend. He also had an opportunity to interview his favorite meteorologist, WTNH’s Ashley Baylor.

“It feels like I’m pursuing my dream of becoming a future meteorologist someday,” Nichols said. “I basically just have a good time with my friends there.”

Other students in the class run a popular coffee shop, which offers a variety of food and drinks, such as hot coffee, iced coffee, tea, brownies, chips, and more. It is primarily for teachers to help them get through the long school days. With the coffee shop students learn how to handle money and run their own business. 

Students also help organize the food pantry and work to make our school bulletin boards more festive and fashionable. In November the bulletin board had turkeys for Thanksgiving and leaves for the fall season. 

Senior Sabrina Sabol said she has really enjoyed the class.

“I learned how things work on a job site and how to use money and how you should act at work,” Sabol said. 

Ms. Anastasio tries her best to have every student be as involved as possible in ways they can enjoy. She also uses money she raises through the coffee shop to bring her students on field trips. One trip was to an apple orchard.

“I have been pleasantly surprised with how well the students have grown both socially and academically,” Ms. Anastasio said. “The students are learning skills needed to become contributing members of society after graduation. They also have the chance to choose their social outings with the money they earn, and they really take responsibility for their jobs in the school and community.”

If you’re interested in being involved in this program and have a study hall periods 1 or 2 see Ms. Anastasio to become her work study.